With so much hype around the need for digital upgrade, it’s surprising that a recent global survey revealed only 8% of enterprises consider themselves truly digitally transformed and 23% are still in the early stages of their ‘digital transformation’.
Businesses have to change to survive. But the slow uptake means that 2018 will be another year of digital transformation as more businesses execute technology shifts and better understand how to use innovative technologies to complement their current operations.
Digital transformation refers to society’s move towards digital technology and the impact of those changes. In other words, the process of a business significantly changing its operations to take full advantage of digital technologies.
Taking this approach enables you to make more than basic improvements. You will come across new opportunities, potential new offerings, new ways to use data, and betters ways of satisfying customers, partners, and internal users.
Steps to start out your digital transformation process.
Start from the customer
In most organizations, digital transformation starts with initiatives in customer-facing areas, such as marketing, sales, or support. With the expansion of the transformation efforts back into operations and internal processes, it’s important that you always continue your analysis with the customer as the starting point.
At the end of the day, every part of the business exists to serve its customers. Multiple departments and activities impact the customer experience. That’s one reason true digital transformation is holistic and impacts the entire organization. By starting every analysis from the customer touchpoint and working backwards to the department and processes that support it, you’ll see how you can improve aspects like data exchange, speed, and technology in a way that ultimately better satisfies your customers.
You need to be able to predict your customer behaviour, what customers expect now and what they’ll expect soon. For example, much of the current race to change is driven by the customers’ desire to transact from mobile devices. But what changes will the internet of things (IoT) introduce? How will it change the way customers do business? By looking ahead, you can transform now in a way that will support the digital future without requiring another overhaul.
Build for change
Having said that, you can’t anticipate everything. That’s why the most successful companies use digital business transformation as a way to build for change. Rather than replacing legacy systems with what will eventually become new legacy systems, design so that you can change your processes, assets, and activities quickly to adapt to new requirements. (Remember to consider data collection and analysis as part of your digital transformation. The data you gather allows you to analyze and predict future business and customer needs, so you can make continuous improvements.)
True digital transformation isn’t a one-time task but an ongoing process. Ideally, “transformation” becomes “evolution” and your organization becomes able to adapt and change on an ongoing basis.
With more companies recognizing the importance of digital transformation and the benefits it brings. Many are undertaking and undergoing transformation. The process is challenging, because it requires company-wide changes driven by a customer focus. Every company’s path to digital transformation and digital maturity is different, what suits one organization may not suit another. However, using best practices learned by other organizations can help you make a successful transformation.